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Heating element rust
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hopster54




Joined: 11 May 2014
Posts: 189
Location: Vancouver, Canada


PostLink    Posted: Thu Jun 11, 2015 7:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote


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I wish i would have waited to order my ss elements, i bought the shitty camco ones that will rust,then i ordered the 5500w ss elements 2 days before Kal posted he had the ss 4500w elements,now i need to sell the shitty camco ones and still am uncertain if i can actually use the ss 5500w elements at the same time on my B/2/B 50amp control panel.

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kal
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Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 10895
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: Pub Ale, Electric Creamsicle, London Pride, Wit, Janet's Brown, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter

Working on: Belgian Quad, Belgian IPA


PostLink    Posted: Thu Jun 11, 2015 9:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Something to keep in mind: Just because there's a newer SS based version of the elements now doesn't automatically make the old ones "bad". I still use the old ones myself. The base on both of mine are discoloured (turned dark/black) and nothing is "rusting off" or causing issues. They may form a bit of rust the first few times and then they tend to just stay discoloured.

I don't plan on replacing them myself, but then, my water's very soft and I don't leave water in the kettles for extended durations.

If you have hard water and/or like to put water in the night before or sooner, or you haven't bought yet, then by all means get the new ones.

Kal

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huaco




Joined: 05 Apr 2012
Posts: 1508
Location: Burleson Texas


PostLink    Posted: Fri Jun 12, 2015 1:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The rust is not going to hurt a thing...
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Joebrewing




Joined: 19 Jan 2014
Posts: 41



PostLink    Posted: Fri Jun 12, 2015 2:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I bought one SS element for my HLT as I would like to fill the water and pre-heat it. I also like to sous-vide, which can keep water in there longer than a normal brew day. I don't plan on getting one for my boil kettle as it won't have liquid in it for more than a few hours.
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Tungsten




Joined: 06 Dec 2014
Posts: 316
Location: Buffalo, NY


PostLink    Posted: Fri Jun 12, 2015 3:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

huaco wrote:
The rust is not going to hurt a thing...


Agree agree agree. It cosmetically looks bad, but it won't impact your beer at all.
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jengum




Joined: 07 Nov 2012
Posts: 43
Location: Portland, OR USA


PostLink    Posted: Tue Jun 16, 2015 5:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tungsten wrote:
huaco wrote:
The rust is not going to hurt a thing...


Agree agree agree. It cosmetically looks bad, but it won't impact your beer at all.


Rusting hardware could be more serious a problem than simply aesthetic.

http://www.bjcp.org/cep/Metallic_Flavors.pdf

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kal
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Joined: 12 Dec 2010
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Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: Pub Ale, Electric Creamsicle, London Pride, Wit, Janet's Brown, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter

Working on: Belgian Quad, Belgian IPA


PostLink    Posted: Tue Jun 16, 2015 12:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In large quantities, yes. Not in the quantities you'd see here however.

Kal

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desitter




Joined: 01 Aug 2015
Posts: 4



PostLink    Posted: Wed Aug 26, 2015 6:39 am    Post subject: Rust Reply with quote

Bumping to say I have the same issue. Rust begins to set in after about an hour at 60-80 C (140 - 175 f) in the HLT. The element face rusts up real bad, and a few spots on the coil and vessel wall also begin to form brown rings around them. I have tried a rigorous clean with Trisodium Phosphate, followed by some bar-keepers-friend, and then a star-san 1 oz to 1 gallon soak for 20, before letting air dry to passivate. I have also cleaned and allowed to sit for 2 weeks to passivate on its own.

This did not stop the rust, so I installed the recommended magnesium anode, and tested the conductivity with a multi-meter, and found there to be little resistance (< 0.1 ohm) between the anode and the vessel and element face plate, however rust still appears to persist. There was even some rust beginning to appear on the stainless portion of the anode itself, despite its proximity to the magnesium attached to it. The water used in the HLT is around 7.1 pH, around 50ppm hardness, and maybe 30 ppm of alkalinity.

I have ordered some stainless elements, but seeing as there is still rust forming on the coil and vessel wall, I doubt this will help much. Does anyone have any suggestions?

Thank you,

EDIT: Just wanted to say that the speed at which the rust develops appears to be proportional to the temperature of the water in the HLT.
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desitter




Joined: 01 Aug 2015
Posts: 4



PostLink    Posted: Wed Sep 09, 2015 2:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

bump
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Dean Palmer




Joined: 08 Mar 2013
Posts: 59
Location: St Petersburg, FL


PostLink    Posted: Wed Sep 09, 2015 10:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you have had rust in the vessel from the element faces rusting, it may have carried over to other parts as residual and you may have to scrub with barkeepers friend and a scotchbrite a few times before the residuals stop rusting. I assume by "coil" you mean a HERMS coil in the HLT. Once the rust gets on or into the metal's surface it might take a bit to stop the residual rusting.
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desitter




Joined: 01 Aug 2015
Posts: 4



PostLink    Posted: Sat Sep 12, 2015 4:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks,

With the new stainless elements installed, the rust has dropped off almost to zero. So it seems the corrosion off the face of the old elements was promoting rust elsewhere.
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puffinbeer




Joined: 23 Aug 2015
Posts: 2
Location: Oslo


PostLink    Posted: Wed Jan 27, 2016 12:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SO much useful info here!

I've been using these elements from High Gravity Brew for a little while now: http://www.highgravitybrew.com/store/pc/Heating-Element-5500-Watt-SS-Twist-lock-Plug-423p3860.htm

I've had a bit of an issue with slight rust build-up, but just want to come to a solution where it's no longer an issue at all.

It's a stainless steel element with a "zinc plated base." I like the idea of a sacrificial magnesium anode. I like its simplicity and that, from the sound of it, it works! The principle behind it is new to me, though I'm starting to get my head around it.

With the element I currently have, should there be any reason why this solution wouldn't work?

Cheers, guys, you're always helpful Smile
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kal
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Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 10895
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: Pub Ale, Electric Creamsicle, London Pride, Wit, Janet's Brown, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter

Working on: Belgian Quad, Belgian IPA


PostLink    Posted: Wed Jan 27, 2016 1:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

puffinbeer wrote:

It's a stainless steel element with a "zinc plated base." I like the idea of a sacrificial magnesium anode. I like its simplicity and that, from the sound of it, it works! The principle behind it is new to me, though I'm starting to get my head around it.

With the element I currently have, should there be any reason why this solution wouldn't work?

Nope! It'll work fine as long as the anode and the heating element base that is rusting are electrically connected. What that means is that both be physically making contact with the kettle wall (pretty much a guarantee if you're using locknuts). If you want to confirm 100%, use a multimeter on ohms setting to confirm close to zero ohms between the two.

The anode you want is here: http://www.theelectricbrewery.com/sacrificial-magnesium-anode

I still think it's cleaner/easier to just replace the element with a stainless base model (no extra hole required, one less thing to get in the way of cleaning) but you can certainly install an anode.

Replacement stainless steel heating elements are here: http://www.theelectricbrewery.com/stainless-steel-heating-elements

Cheers,

Kal

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puffinbeer




Joined: 23 Aug 2015
Posts: 2
Location: Oslo


PostLink    Posted: Wed Jan 27, 2016 4:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, Kal! Yeah, I'm still considering the entirely stainless elements. Decisions...

Does anyone have any idea whether the oxidation of the anode affects water composition significantly or at all? Probably the question of a paranoiac, I know...
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kal
Forum Administrator



Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 10895
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: Pub Ale, Electric Creamsicle, London Pride, Wit, Janet's Brown, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter

Working on: Belgian Quad, Belgian IPA


PostLink    Posted: Wed Jan 27, 2016 4:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

puffinbeer wrote:
Does anyone have any idea whether the oxidation of the anode affects water composition significantly or at all? Probably the question of a paranoiac, I know...

It does not. Very insignificant. One tiny grain of epsom salt (MgSO4) which you may already be adding if you're doing water adjustments will add more magnesium than an hour of boiling.

Kal

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MikeOH




Joined: 20 Dec 2015
Posts: 8
Location: Ohio


PostLink    Posted: Sun Jun 05, 2016 7:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I'm certainly late to this party...

I've had no rust issues on the heating elements, as Kal reports, until just now. I had been good about drying out the kettles after each brew session and leaving the lids off overnight. Alas, yesterday, a brain fart occurred and I left the lid on the HLT overnight with some moisture still inside. That's all it took.

Hopefully this was a one shot deal. If not, I'll be looking for the SS coils to replace them with.

In the mean time, if anyone is looking to remove said rust, I highly recommend a Dremel with a small wire wheel. It took 5 mins and worked like a charm.



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